Lisa Herrod — Accessibility for web teams: Recategorising WCAG 2 using a role-​​based approach

Web Directions South 2011, Sydney, October 14th.

Presentation slides

Session description

The application of web accessibility guidelines in a holistic manner across all roles of a web team continues to encounter resistance. This is often due to a lack of resources and knowledge, or no sense of relevancy in certain web roles. While there is solid support of the guidelines by accessibility activists and many front-​​end developers, a large percentage of other web practitioners in non-​​technical roles do not know how to integrate accessible design practices into their daily work, despite wanting to.

By re-​​categorising accessibility guidelines into role-​​based groupings, such as visual design, content writing and information architecture, guidelines become more accessible to inexperienced web practitioners across a broad range of web roles. The application of accessibility guidelines then becomes more integrated and holistic, thereby reducing project timelines and costs while increasing the overall accessibility of a site from initial design stages.

This method enables practitioners to apply skills specific to their role to a narrow range of accessibility guidelines particular to their area of expertise. For example, the visual designer would create a design and evaluate colour contrast before submitting the design to the development team. Likewise, an interaction designer would consult with the Javascript specialist to ensure the menu design satisfies relevant accessibility guidelines.

About Lisa Herrod

Photo of Lisa HerrodLisa is the Director and Principal Consultant at Scenario Seven, an Inclusive Design Consultancy based in Sydney. With 15 years experience on the web, the past 10 years of her work has centred on design research, usability, accessibility and inclusive strategies. Lisa is best known for her role based approach to web accessibility, which has seen the re-​​categorisation of WCAG checkpoints into a user-​​centred, practitioner-​​focused grouping for content developers, visual designers, developers and user experience professionals.

Scenario Seven specialises in creating accessible, inclusive design strategies that integrate holistically with traditional user research practices. This includes anything from requirements gathering to the review of design documentation (functional specs, wireframes & visual designs), user research and WCAG compliance. We design for diversity.

Follow Lisa on Twitter: @scenariogirl

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